When I heard the impassioned declaration ''myki is a f---ing disaster!'' from someone who I know hasn't taken public transport in 20 years, I had one of those breakthrough moments. It wasn't as dramatic as St Joan hearing her voices, it was more of a suburban revelation. But it highlighted a key aspect of Melbourne living.
A $30 billion public transport plan unveiled last week includes the long-awaited electrification of the Baxter rail line and a name change for the Frankston line. The new Public Transport Victoria plan allows for the Baxter line to be electrified and doubled to allow the construction of stabling yards for 30 trains and a maintenance facility by 2028. Under the state's peak public transport authority's long-term vision, Stony Point service passengers would interchange at Baxter.
Plans to create a pedestrian access-only area with light rail running along George Street from Bridge to Liverpool streets has moved a step closer, with a memorandum of understanding passed between the City of Sydney council and the NSW government. A public exhibition will be held from April 4 at Customs House at Circular Quay, detailing the plans and the impact on retailers along the busy thoroughfare.
The NSW government is seeking an increased contribution from the City of Sydney, given the project cost is an estimated $1.6 billion. The city has agreed to pay $220 million for the upgrade of George Street.
An organisation formed to reduce accidents on the rail network has identified WA's 10 most dangerous level crossings - and four are on the Armadale line. At another three - in Collie, Burekup and Kwinana - it found cars often jumped the red lights in front of oncoming trains. TrackSAFE was formed in March last year and is funded by Australian rail-related bodies including WA's Public Transport Authority, Brookfield Rail, Rio Tinto and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union. After interviews with train drivers, it identified the worst level crossings in each State. "It is the train drivers who go over the same stretch of track day in, day out, over many years who know where the most risky level crossings are," TrackSAFE director Bryan Nye said.
KiwiRail will suspend its Christchurch to Picton passenger rail service over the winter, it has announced. It follows a drop in passenger numbers since the earthquakes, leading to a $3 million annual loss on the link. "Winter demand for KiwiRail Scenic's long distance passenger services (May through September) is much slower than the summer tourist season," KiwiRail's General Manager, Passenger, Deborah Hume said.
FOR someone at the centre of Victoria's aviation industry, Chris Woodruff spends a lot of time answering questions about cars and trains. The Melbourne Airport chief is preparing to deliver the airport's masterplan for the next 20 years, outlining his plan to transform it into the nation's foremost aviation hub. Mandated by the Federal Government, the report will lift the veil on plans for everything from a third runway to internal road systems.
Two teenagers have been charged over trying to steal a train from the Mary Valley Heritage Railway at Gympie in south-east Queensland yesterday.
Police say the pair, aged 17 and 18, masqueraded as Queensland Heritage Railway staff and tried to drive the diesel locomotive out of the rail yard.
Queensland Rail has renewed calls for safety around railway crossings after a man narrowly missed being hit in Townsville in the state's north yesterday. Police were called to the Boundary Street railway crossing after reports the man had been hit by the freight train.
State Treasurer Michael O'Brien has described Victoria's falling share of GST revenue as "outrageous" and says he will raise the issue at a treasurer's conference in Canberra this morning. The Treasury Department is forecasting a $1.5 billion hit to the budget over the next four years due to a recent retail slump and a downgrade to the state's share of GST revenue.
TWO teenagers who allegedly hatched a plan to take a diesel locomotive for a joyride yesterday came undone when they tried to hook up a carriage and crashed. The locomotive, owned by Mary Valley Heritage Railway, was driven just a couple of metres out of the workshop compound, allegedly by a 17-year-old Brisbane boy and a local acquaintance. It is believed they convinced MVHR workshop volunteers into believing the Brisbane boy was in charge of an organisation called Queensland Heritage Railways that had taken over operations.
THE State Government has made a commitment to continue to operate V/Line trains on the Gippsland line between Southern Cross, Traralgon and Bairnsdale. Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the government had spent $6.5 million on rail renewals and maintenance on the Gippsland line during the two past financial years. He said it would continue to work with V/Line and Public Transport Victoria to find short and long term engineering solutions for the restoration of V/Line trains between Traralgon, Sale and Bairnsdale, which are currently suspended and being replaced by road coach services.
A Cessnock councillor says he will be pushing to maintain momentum on plans to develop a cycle track along an old coalfields rail line, despite a major funding setback. A group of organisations overseeing the Richmond Vale Rail Trail project has decided to withdraw an application to the Regional Development Australia Fund, saying crucial issues are yet to be resolved. Cessnock Council is heading up the shared cycleway and walkway project.
The Gillard government is set to announce funding for Melbourne's $9 billion metro rail tunnel, placing it at odds with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who has said he will back the east-west road link if elected prime minister.
"We spoke to Infrastructure Australia and their advice was that the most pressing road priority in Melbourne was the east-west link," Mr Abbott told reporters in Frankston on Thursday.
"Now the Commonwealth government has a long history of funding roads. We have no history of funding urban rail and I think it's important that we stick to our knitting, and the Commonwealth's knitting when it comes to funding infrastructure is roads."
Put politics aside. It's hard, particularly since 2013 is a federal election year. But all politicians and planners have known since 2005 - seven years ago - that Brisbane needs a second way for trains in the inner-city to get across the Brisbane River by 2016.
Colin Barnett's funding plan for his big public transport election promises is in danger of unravelling after Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said yesterday that he did not believe the Commonwealth had a role in funding urban rail projects. The Premier promised to build the $1.8 billion MAX light rail system from Mirrabooka to the city and Nedlands to Victoria Park, and a $1.9 billion heavy rail spur line to Perth airport by 2018. It relied on the Commonwealth meeting 80 per cent of the airport line cost and half of MAX. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has already hosed down expectations of a contribution from Federal Labor, saying WA would have to put forward a detailed submission for consideration.
A QUEENSLAND Rail executive has been named the new boss of country train operator V/Line. Theo Taifalos will start as V/Line chief executive on May 20. Former chief executive Rob Barnett resigned in October last year hours before the regional rail operator tabled its annual report showing a seventh year of record patronage.
THE new Springfield train line must be extended to Ipswich for the Ripley Valley housing development to take off, according to an urban planning expert. Springfield Central station is set to be opened before the end of the year, but University of Queensland planning associate professor John Minnery believes the new line doesn't go far enough. Prof Minnery said Ripley needed access to rail to properly flourish.
The RACV says two proposed road and rail projects, the east west link and the metro train tunnel are needed to ease traffic congestion in Melbourne. Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has pledged $1.5 billion to begin work on the east-west link which would connect the Eastern Freeway to the the Tullamarine Freeway and on to the Western Ring Road. But it is believed the Gillard Government is in favour of building the metro rail tunnel, which would link South Kensington and South Yarra train stations underground.
Premier Denis Napthine has vowed to pursue Commonwealth cash for Victoria's $9 billion Metro rail tunnel despite confirmation by Tony Abbott that there will be no federal money for urban rail projects if the Coalition wins the next election. Mr Abbott has signalled a return to the Howard government model of only funding major roads and rail freight projects. ''It doesn't mean urban rail, commuter rail,'' he said on Friday.
The Committee for Gippsland says a strong rail freight network will be needed for the region to take full advantage of the Port of Hastings. A $7 billion container port is expected to be operating at Hastings by 2030. The committee's Mary Aldred says having shipping facilities at the region's doorstep will be a boon for local industries.
There were 130 sightings for this week. This is eight sighting more than last week, making a total of 1611 sightings for this year to date. On day 96 last year we had recorded 1606 sightings. This is five sightings up on the same time last year.
The city's transport network will fail to keep up with the number of passengers travelling to Melbourne Airport unless a proposed rail connection to Tullamarine becomes a reality, state government documents reveal. But transport experts admit the airport link will not be feasible unless the proposed Melbourne Metro rail tunnel is built first - a project Tony Abbott has ruled out funding should the Coalition win this year's federal election. A government study into the Melbourne Airport rail link reveals that passenger trips and train patronage have both increased by 70 per cent in the decade since 2001, with about 107,000 trips to and from Tullamarine now taking place every day. But the same report also found demand would continue to grow by 3.6 per cent a year over the next 30 years, and unless the rail connections got off the ground, the city's transport network would struggle to cope. ''Forecast growth in Melbourne's population and air passenger numbers will result in demand for airport access that exceeds the capacity of existing transport infrastructure and services,'' the report says.
Gen Okajima is waiting for a train. He knows it will not arrive soon, not even in the next few years, but he is not feeling anxious or impatient. He says it will come once Australia is ready for it.
Eleven of about 48 positions were axed from the Transport Department's rail safety and transport security division last year, according to figures released to the state opposition under Right to Information laws. The opposition's transport spokeswoman, Jackie Trad, says this coincides with a 28 per cent increase in serious rail accidents from 2011.
Fortescue Metals Group is on track to announce the sale of a stake in its rail and port business by the middle of the year, according to chief executive Nev Power. Speaking in Hainan, Mr Power said there was strong interest in The Pilbara Infrastructure (TPI) business and although it was not a ''must deal'' situation, Fortescue was hoping for a sale ''to accelerate our debt pay-down and move towards an investment-grade credit rating,'' he said. ''By mid-year we will get the process completed.
There are moments in public life when you can't quite believe what you've heard. I had one of those last Thursday when I heard the Leader of the Opposition say “it's important we stick to our knitting and the Commonwealth's knitting is roads”. I checked my calendar and confirmed that it was indeed 2013. Yes, we were well into the 21st century. A day later, in case we hadn't heard it the first time, he said it again: “That's what I said yesterday and that's what I say today.”
The shudder from his state Coalition colleagues and the weary commuters of Australia could be felt around the country. Because they live each and every day with the effects of one of the greatest blights in modern life, urban congestion. Yes, in the past, providing public transport has been left up to the states. But as anyone living in a major Australian city knows, idling behind the wheel of a car is one of the most frustrating time-wasters of modern life.
Melbourne's trains have a serious braking problem that is putting the lives of commuters and train drivers at risk, Seven News can reveal. One train driver thought she would be killed when a faulty brake block came off an aging Comeng train, near Newport, just over a week ago, and smashed through the windscreen of the train she was driving.
AUSTRALIA: Public Transport Victoria has published a set of long-term proposals for upgrading Melbourne's rail network on March 27, setting out a strategy to increase capacity and reach areas currently not served. The state transport authority said the Network Development Plan - Metropolitan Rail is based on detailed analysis of current and forecast demand, and is intended to help inform the government in the development of policy. Completion of the projects would be dependent on securing national and state funding.
A rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline by President Barack Obama would push more of Canada’s $73 billion oil exports onto trains, which register almost three times more spills than pipelines. The March 29 rupture of an Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM). oil pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas, provided the latest evidence for opponents citing the risk of environmental contamination in their efforts to scuttle the Keystone XL project, an almost 2,000-mile pipeline linking Alberta’s oil sands with the world’s largest refining market on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The alternative, hauling crude by rail, may be worse, said Charles Ebinger, director of the Brookings Institution’s energy security initiative.
COMMUTERS are partying on Brisbane's trains like they're out clubbing, with almost 1900 people caught smoking or boozing last year. Figures released by Queensland Rail reveal that 1222 fines were handed out for smoking on trains, subways or station platforms in the 12 months to March this year. And 669 people were slapped with fines in the past year for drinking alcohol on railways property. The worst stations for drinking were Roma St, with 79 people nabbed, and Caboolture, with 39. But Caboolture took out the prize for most people caught smoking (239) while Roma St came second (194).
The ACT government has spent close to $1 million in 18 months developing its Capital Metro light rail project, the ACT Legislative Assembly has been told. The government will set up a Capital Metro agency to run the project, with the agency to be funded in the budget in June. Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell, responding to questions from the Canberra Liberals, said the government had spent $913,000 on light rail planning in 2011-12 and $76,000 in 2012-13.
A GENERATION of state transport ministers have taken their eyes off Queensland Rail. So when QR wants $4 billion for the Cross River Rail project, they get on board without question. So when QR wants $4 billion for the Cross River Rail project, they get on board without question.
A high-speed rail link along Australia's east coast would not be completed until at least 2053 and would cost $114 billion to build, according to a report to be released today.
The Federal Government's final report says the rail link between Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne would require 1,700 kilometres of dedicated track and 144 kilometres of tunnelling.
Despite the multi-billion dollar price tag, the report shows the project would deliver a net positive economic benefit.
High speed rail would be the best. Travelling from the centre of Sydney to the centre of Melbourne in less than three hours on an airconditioned train with power outlets and Wi-Fi and cup holders and seats that recline a bit but not too much to upset the person behind, and maybe a great meal car somewhere in the middle of a train that also sells magazines – that would be entirely appropriate to the modern world.
The Victorian Government will spend $176 million on eight new trains for the metropolitan network. The imported X'Trapolis trains will be fitted out in Ballarat. The trains will be fully funded in the upcoming budget and they will be fitted out by the Ballarat manufacturer Alstom. The Government says the announcement will secure more than 130 jobs.
The latest nonsense about the Brisbane to Melbourne high-speed rail network is surely the work of tardy April Fool's Day jokers or the road haulage lobby, which would like to see no further development of rail. The proposal to build a Canberra to Sydney link by 2035 and the full monty by 2050 or so, at an estimated cost of well over $100 billion, will see the idea killed off once again.
On the evening of 3 February 2003, a suburban electric train reached the end of its run at Broadmeadows station, north of Melbourne. The driver began to shut down the controls in his cab, but something distracted him and he failed to complete the procedure correctly. This in turn allowed the brakes to slowly release. Three minutes later, the driver emerged from the Gents to see his train creeping out of the station. He gave chase; the train won. After clearing the platform, the almost imperceptible incline soon became steeper, and the train began to accelerate. About 15 hair-raising minutes later, after reaching speeds in excess of 100 km/h, it crashed into a waiting Bacchus Marsh train at Spencer Street station, now called Southern Cross, in the heart of the city. Fortunately there were no fatalities or major injuries.
Canberra Airport has welcomed the latest government report into high-speed rail even though it advocates a different vision than it had itself proposed. A terminal for Civic that would require four kilometres of tunnel passing through Mount Ainslie is mooted in the government's report. It would result in a three-platform station eventually serving more than 3000 passengers in peak hour under Ainslie Avenue.
TONY Abbott may have made himself a thick woolly jumper for spring by declaring he won't contribute towards passenger rail projects. "We have no history of funding urban rail and I think it's important that we stick to our knitting," the federal Opposition Leader declared recently. "And the Commonwealth's knitting when it comes to funding infrastructure is roads."
LIGHT rail supporters have accused the State Government of dropping the ball on light rail for the northern suburbs. Denison Independent MP Andrew Wilkie said today that with the Federal Budget was one month away, a funding request for light rail had not been submitted. "On December 22 [Transport Minister Nick McKim], promised to submit a business case in early 2013 for Federal funding for the northern suburbs light rail," Mr Wilkie said. "He has not done that. "Mr McKim also promised to form a taskforce of 'key state and local decision makers' to progress light rail, with details to be announced in early 2013.
Fifty years after Britain's train network was slashed, Stephen McClarence revisits lines spared the axe. In the 1960s, as Dr Beeching was wielding his axe over the British rail network, the comedy duo Flanders and Swann wrote a wistful little song called Slow Train. With a chuff-chuffing piano accompaniment, they wove their lyrics out of the names of threatened stations
Access to and from Canberra's high-speed rail terminal would rarely rely on public transport, according to the federal government's final report into the proposed very fast train network. But the ACT government insists the report is conservative in its projections and that public transport connections will be a major feature of the Canberra terminal. The phase two report, released on Thursday, states that taxis would be the most-used form of transport to and from the terminal proposed for below Ainslie Avenue.
The NSW government has accepted a bid to privatise two of Australia's biggest ports, in a deal that will earn $4 billion for infrastructure projects in the state. The 99-year lease for Port Kembla and Port Botany was awarded to the NSW Ports consortium for $5.07 billion.
The ''ghost train'' campaign technique is a common one, on both sides of politics. Step one is to announce in-principle support for a rail project. Then comes the commissioning of a scoping study (another press release), the results of which can then be published (another press release), followed by a further press release calling for community consultation, and so on.
There were 121 sightings for this week. This is nine sighting less than last week, making a total of 1732 sightings for this year to date. On day 103 last year we had recorded 1704 sightings. This is 28 sightings up on the same time last year.
A HISTORICAL society and a Yarra councillor want to change the name of East Richmond Station.
Last Wednesday night saw the opening of an arts festival at Prahran Town Hall with a Myki hating session, instigated by a St Kilda resident.
[b]Network Rail and one of its employees have today (Wednesday, 10 April 2013) been fined after earlier being found guilty of breaching Health and Safety at Work regulations following the death of a woman at a level crossing in January 2010.[/b]
A Maryborough man's stop for a call of nature on Saturday night turned to disaster when his car was hit by a fully laden freight train.
The impact of the crash lifted the Commodore station wagon 4m into the air and shunted it 40m down the road, leaving it a twisted ball of metal.
Luckily the south-bound freight train stayed on the rails and the driver stopped it about a kilometre down the track to assess the damage.
Emergency services were called to the Hermans Rd railway crossing at Gunalda about 7.45pm.
The biggest public transport infrastructure project currently underway anywhere in the country—the Regional Rail Link—is now quickly taking shape following today's release of the final artist impressions of the new stations being built at Wyndham Vale and Tarneit. Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder marked the milestone by inspecting progress on the work that's well underway at the site of the new Wyndham Vale station, located in the heart of one of Victoria's fastest growing communities. “This multibillion dollar project will not only deliver frequent, reliable rail services to Melbourne's rapidly growing western suburbs, it is also laying the first ever dedicated track for passenger trains servicing Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat,” said Mr Albanese.
QUEENSLAND'S passenger rail network is being primed for privatisation, the state opposition says. Transport Minister Scott Emerson announced on Monday that Queensland Rail (QR) will be changed from a government-owned corporation to a statutory authority, reversing a 2006 decision. From May, the minister will have tighter control on the day-to-day running of the business and will no longer have to issue directives to initiate change.
[color=#434343][size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b][b]LUCRATIVE performance bonuses are encouraging train operator Metro to unnecessarily skip stations at the expense of passengers, it is feared.[/b] [/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#434343][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] The train driver's union, Public Transport Users Association and the Opposition are calling for Metro's bonuses -- worth $3.38 million last year -- to be scrapped if achieved by shortcuts.Documents obtained by the Herald Sun using Freedom of Information laws show the State Government raised concerns some skipping may not be warranted.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#434343][size=2][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"There have been some instances where the decision appears to be not in the best interest of commuters, which led to the issue being raised via the Network Development Partnership," a ministerial document said.[/font][/size][/color]
Telstra commuters travelling through the City Circle tunnels in Sydney will now have new mobile network coverage, allowing them to stay connected as they ride the rails through the city. Telstra network engineering director, Anthony Goonan, said consumers will no longer have to deal with losing Internet service or having calls drop out when entering the City Circle. “Whether talking on the phone, updating their Facebook page, playing ‘Words With Friends’ or streaming music, customers will no longer lose network coverage as their train enters the City Circle line,” he said
Newcastle MP Tim Owen says a timeframe for cutting the city's heavy rail line will be known by the end of the year. Mr Owen says "the Coordination and Delivery group (formed by Government) will be responsible for reporting back to Cabinet at the end of the year outlining timing, priorities and full costings for the Urban Renewal Strategy, including the truncation of the rail line and associated transport routes." He says the closure of the rail line at Wickham should be the first priority of the Urban Renewal Strategy.
PLANS to build a 24-hour rail maintenance workshop directly across from homes at Carrington will be placed under the microscope by Newcastle City Council next week. The $4million proposal would involve extending a rail spur line on the Elizabeth Street site, owned by Goninan Holdings, and building three workshops. The entire facility would be capable of servicing 70 freight carriages at one time.
V/Line, the state's regional rail operator, has missed its monthly punctuality target on every intercity line in the state every month for the past six months.
It’s all about taking Canterbury’s milk to the world, Fonterra Director John Monaghan said at the official opening April 12. "This new rail link connects Fonterra’s Darfield’s distribution centre to New Zealand’s busiest rail line through to Lyttleton Ports of Christchurch. From there it’s on to China, South East Asia and the Middle East," he said. General Manager Logistics Network Development & Design Andy Sanderson said rail connects Fonterra to New Zealand’s key ports, from where products are exported to over 100 markets around the world.
There is a fare war on the Sydney-Canberra route today which will drive Qantas customers mad because its hopeless web site is being hopeless once more, while Virgin Australia has a new business class product it both promotes but fails to display on its equally second rate booking screens. However, for those that persevere, and can plan ahead, Virgin Australia has a $69 one way fare from Sydney to Canberra for all of May, most of June and part of July through September provided you buy before midnight.
City of Greater Bendigo councillors Elise Chapman and Helen Leach have opposed a $1900 grant for the O’Keefe Rail Trail. Cr Chapman said the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail had already received enough funding from the state government and the council. “I don’t think it’s appropriate ... when other community groups miss out,” she said. But Cr Rod Campbell said group members volunteered their time on the project each weekend and noted the trail aimed to reduce car usage and promote exercise.
THE announcement of the University of Newcastle city campus becoming a reality (‘‘Uni of the future’’ Herald 15/4) is great news for Newcastle in most respects.
It will bring in excess of 3000 people into the city and these people will spend money and require services.
One of the most important services that uni students require is transport and associated support, including parking.
Environment and Heritage Minister Robyn Parker has called for public comment on the sale of seven historic Hunter steam engines.
THE closure of the Belair rail line may be an inconvenience to commuters but there is one positive to come out of it. Graffiti along the Belair train line has dropped in the past year, recent figures show. Sturt Police figures show a decrease in the amount of graffiti reported along the rail line, which has been closed since January this year.
POLICE fear copper thieves are back on the Border after $5000 worth of wire was stolen from the railway line between Barnawartha and Wodonga. Detective Sen-Constable Brendan Roche said about 2.2 kilometres of the wire was ripped from the line in the past two weeks. It sparked fears that it could mean the spate of copper wire thefts of previous years in the North East had returned.
The competition regulator's move to strip grain exporter CBH Group of its monopoly on grain tranportation in WA has been upheld by the Australian Competition Tribunal. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said the tribunal's decision meant "that for the first time since deregulation of wheat export marketing in 2008, growers and marketers in WA will be free to make their own arrangements for transporting grain to port for export”.
The final report into a fatal rail accident in the Hunter Valley has found the level railway crossing did not fully meet national standards. 50-year-old Wayne Smith was killed in May 2012 when his utility collided with an empty coal train at the Glennies Creek crossing, near Singleton. The Office of Transport Safety Investigations has released its final report into the accident.
COMMERCIAL interests are behind a push to see a light rail extension to Helensvale to connect to the heavy rail line to Brisbane, a move which would cost as much as building the track to Parkwood and south to Nobby Beach. The Bulletin understands back-room negotiations are happening between the Westfield Group and the decision-makers to see a stop built at Helensvale, next to the shopping giant's mall.
Transurban will book a $50 million cost over-run on an upgrade to the Hills M2 tollroad in north-west Sydney, which is running behind schedule for completion. Australia’s largest tollroad operator emphasised that the extra spending will result in ‘‘enhancements’’ to the motorway such as bridge strengthening and power supply to a tunnel.
A FUTURE rail crossing will be considered as part of the Shoalhaven River Bridge study. And in a move highly unusual in state politics, the Labor Party has supported a suggestion by a local Liberal Kiama MP Gareth Ward. It was announced in March that AECOM Consultants had been awarded the tender to carry out a study into the best possible location for a replacement of the southbound Shoalhaven River bridge. A million dollar investigation has been commissioned by Roads and Maritime Services Minister Duncan Gay on the best location for a new Princes Highway crossing of the river to ease current congestion.
Australians need to think “seriously long term” about a high-speed rail link along the eastern seaboard and the role it could play in meeting the country’s needs almost 50 years from now, Australasian Railway Association chairman Lindsay Tanner says. A rail link such as the proposed 1748-kilometre route connecting Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne and detailed by transport minister Anthony Albanese last week needs to be thought of in the same way as projects such as the NBN or even before that, the national rollout of household electricity, says the former finance and deregulation minister, who left parliament before the 2010 federal election.
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 20/4/2013.
There were 134 sightings for this week. This is 13 sighting more than last week, making a total of 1866 sightings for this year to date. On day 110 last year we had recorded 1836 sightings. This is 30 sightings up on the same time last year.
THE NSW government will invest $60 million to set up eight maintenance centres for Sydney's rail network. Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced on Sunday the NSW government would spend the money as part of a program to modernise RailCorp's outdated maintenance practices. In a statement, the government said the investment boost comes as it prepares for the start on July 1 of two new rail operators on the network - Sydney Trains and NSW Trains.
REGARDING the proposal for a high speed train linking Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney and Melbourne, it appears as though NSW is going to repeat history. The 1933 Railway Annual Report announced the Sydney-Newcastle line would be electrified, yet it took them another 50 years to complete the project. Judging by the predicted timetable for the start of construction, it seems we won’t see fast trains operating on Australian soil for at least another 50 years.
PATRONS boarded four carriages as the Southern Downs Steam Railway organised its first train trip with an Anzac Day theme. Rail group committee member Lindsay Mills said travellers came from as far away as the Gold Coast, Kingaroy and northern New South Wales for the trip yesterday.
KIM and Annie Baxter not only had a ticket to ride to Donald, they renovated a whole vintage carriage. The Baxters and their extended family were some of the 300 people who boarded the T Class diesel 1950s heritage locomotive on Saturday. The round-trip 700 kilometre ride from Melbourne to Donald was part of 150th anniversary celebrations of the township.
France’s adoption of our rail-building ideas pays off, writes John Miner. IT is more than 30 years since I conned my way into a free ride on the first version of the TGV, the Train à Grande Vitesse (Very Fast Train) in France. I told the rail authority that NSW had plans for a fast train, the XPT, and I wanted, as a journalist, to assess the relative benefits of the XPT and TGV (which was true).
A SUNSHINE Coast transport infrastructure expert has warned the Federal Government's high-speed rail network plan could be a distraction to the pressing issues in our own backyard. Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese on Thursday released the second and final report on a high-speed rail network which the study forecast would be fully operating by 2065. The 1748km fast train rail track between Brisbane and Melbourne comes with an estimated $114 billion price tag.
The drive for railway expansion across Asia has persuaded Communist rulers in Laos to take on a project that is to say the least, ambitious. The intention is to move from a situation of no rail network at all, to a position where lines will criss-cross the country linking Laos to China, Vietnam and Thailand. The cost will be enormous $7.2 billion for the link from the capital Vientiane to the Chinese border alone, and economists predict the project could bankrupt Laos.
Homes and business premises in Melbourne's south-east could be wiped off the map to make way for extra tracks along the Dandenong railway line to carry freight trains from the Port of Hastings. The plan to build ''an additional track or tracks'' along the heavily congested rail line is contained in a briefing to Premier Denis Napthine and Transport Minister Terry Mulder, which was obtained by Fairfax Media through freedom of information. The plan revives elements of the former Bracks government's doomed $1 billion Dandenong triplication project. If that project had proceeded, a large number of houses and commercial premises along the rail line - particularly between Caulfield and Oakleigh stations - would have been acquired.
FEDERAL funding for the Melbourne Metro rail project would see Victoria's GST share slashed by hundreds of millions of dollars more than if a national road project was given the money. Under Commonwealth infrastructure funding rules, the amount of GST given to a state is reduced significantly if money is given to a rail project. But if a "national network" road gets a federal cash injection, there is a 50 per cent "discount" on the GST clawback.
The NSW Government today released a detailed study focusing on the transport needs of the community along the disused Casino to Murwillumbah rail line. Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said the study examined the feasibility, benefits and costs of reinstating passenger services on the 130km rail line, which has been out of service since 2004. “The Liberals and Nationals committed to the community before the last election that we would undertake a study into the rail line and today I have released the completed study which I know will be of great interest to the community,” Ms Berejiklian said. “The study was led by experienced transport project director Tim Poole and the NSW Government will now consider the findings as part of our work to finalise the Northern Rivers Regional Transport Plan which we expect to be completed this year. “We will then be able to report back to the community with our comprehensive strategy to address transport issues in the region.” The study found that the rail line would not meet current or future transport needs and there was no commercial demand for it to be reinstated to carry freight. A thorough engineering examination carried out as part of the study confirmed that the infrastructure has deteriorated significantly.
Queensland's rail safety regulator has given approval for the Mary Valley Heritage Railway on the state's Sunshine Coast to resume limited passenger services along a small section of track. It has been more than six months since services were shut down due to safety concerns after two derailments last year.
Authorities are about to get tough in a bid to reduce the epidemic of illegal rail line crossing, and trespassing incidents on rail corridors which saw more than 1500 people risk their lives on the Caboolture line in 2012. The Caboolture line figure (Caboolture to Bowen Hills) was the most for any track in the Brisbane network and more than double that of the next worst (the Beenleigh line). It accounted for more than one third of such offences across the network (5133).
A second international airport in Victoria is a step closer, following an agreement between Australia and the Philippines. The memorandum of understanding will allow Australian and Philippine carriers to operate a daily international service between the Philippines and Avalon Airport. In October last year, the federal government approved changes to Avalon's lease arrangement, allowing it to build an international terminal.
[b]MORE than $50 million has been allocated to plan the removal of seven notorious level crossings.[/b]
Thieves have used a concrete saw to break into an automatic ticket machine at a Hunter train station. Police say two men walked across the tracks at Metford Station near Maitland just before 11:00pm (AEST) last night, and climbed up onto the platform.
THE proposed high-speed rail network along Australia's east coast should start in Geelong, Corangamite MP Darren Cheeseman says. Following the release of the second report into Australia's High Speed Rail network, Mr Cheeseman said Geelong needed to be on track before any further work was done on the long-term multi-billion-dollar project. "I believe that we need to include Geelong in any national network," he said. "Adding Geelong to the network is a natural fit as it will improve the business case for building a high speed rail by linking Victoria's biggest cities and will bring economic benefits to Geelong."
Broken Hill's new mineral sands processing plant is now in the commissioning phase before full production starts in about three weeks. The commissioning phase involves checking that every component of the plant works efficiently and safely. The plant at Cristal Mining's Pinnacles Road site is expected to triple the production of the current facility. This will allow the company to process the one-million-tonne stockpile of mineral sands that is current stored at the company's Gingko mine near Pooncarie
Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder says the community has nothing to worry about with larger trucks on the roads. The Government yesterday gave the go-ahead for b-triple trucks, which are up to 36 metres long, to be allowed on roads between the Port of Melbourne and regional centres. Mr Mulder says the trucks will be tracked by satellite and will be subject to 90 kilometre per hour speed limits. He says they are a safer option and it is the right decision.
THE Hunter is marking its role in what is described as the golden age of rail in NSW. It’s 150 years since the Great Northern Line was extended from Maitland to Singleton, opening up parts of northern NSW for the first time and creating a new economy for the Upper Hunter. Singleton Libraries information services librarian Sharon Muir said the arrival of rail in the town was ‘‘volcanic’’.
SAVE Our Rail has urged the NSW government to consider building several pedestrian level crossings instead of ripping up the Newcastle inner-city rail line.
The head of Aurizon Holdings, Lance Hockridge, has slammed the latest high-speed railway proposal arguing, instead, for the existing infrastructure as a ''springboard''. The railroad sector has seen a ''lifetime's supply'' of national building proposals he told a business lunch on Tuesday, pointing to the Alice Springs to Darwin project and the Melbourne to Brisbane inland railway.
THE demise of a passionately-fought campaign to bring back the Casino-to-Murwillumbah rail link is a "slap in the face" for the NSW North Coast community and one which should be felt by every local politician who campaigned on a now broken promise. That's how TOOT president Karin Kolbe on Monday summed up her feelings about the release of the long-awaited feasibility study which found the rail line, which has been out of service since 2004, was beyond repair. In the lead-up to the 2007 state election North Coast MP Don Page and his Tweed, Lismore and Clarence Valley colleagues campaigned for the return of the rail service with the support of Nationals Leader Andrew Stoner.
[color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]THE biggest expansion of inner west truck curfews in a decade is facing stiff opposition from major industry and VicRoads.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]A report to last night's Maribyrnong Council community and services special committee recommended that the council lobby the state government to introduce a curfew on Moore Street, Footscray, and extend current weekend curfews to operate between 8pm Friday and 6am Monday.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The recommendations stem from a review by the truck curfew review committee (TCRC), [color=#111111][size=2][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]made up of three Maribyrnong councillors and representatives of VicRoads, Hobsons Bay Council, Victoria Police, EPA, Department of Transport, Port of Melbourne Corporation, Transport Workers Union and affected residents.[/font][/size][/color][/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Yarraville night and weekend truck curfews were introduced on Somerville Road in 2001 and in Francis Street the following year.[/font][/size][/color]
A public signing is being planned for a long awaited MOU to reopen a rail line in the region. Five of the region's councils - Cowra, Weddin, Harden, Young and Blayney, have been campaigning since 2009 to get the Blayney to Demondrille line running again.
[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The author of a report into the return of rail services on the state's far north coast is defending its findings.[/b][/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Casino-to-Murwillumbah line was closed in 2004.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A feasibility study commissioned by the State Government has found it would cost 900 million dollars to repair.[/font][/size] [size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Tim Poole, from the Department of Transport, says the disused line was allowed to deteriorate.[/font][/size]
Two men charged with an alleged Al Qaeda-backed plot to derail a Canadian passenger train have made their first court appearances. Raed Jaser of Toronto, 35, and Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, face charges that include conspiring "with each other to murder unknown persons for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group". They were arrested on Tuesday in separate raids after what police said was an investigation that started in the middle of last year after a tip from a member of the Muslim community.
WEST, Texas (Reuters) - A rail car filled with extremely hazardous ammonium nitrate did not cause the fiery explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant, investigators said on Tuesday, in their first statement ruling out possible sources of the deadly blast six days ago. Fourteen people died in the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co last Wednesday, and some 200 were injured. Investigators said they also ruled out a weather event such as lightning as the cause of the fire and blast, and said they had narrowed down the possible sources to an accident, arson or an unexplained cause.
DESPITE a low turnout at a debate on Melbourne's contentious public transport ticketing system, organisers are calling the event a success.
[color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]TICKETS are now on sale at Taree Railway Station for steam train rides over the upcoming Centenary of Rail weekend in May.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The official 'Re-enactment' train will run on Sunday May 11, with other shuttle services operating over the weekend and a special open day at Taree Model Railway Club planned for Sunday morning.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]These will all be part of wider celebrations of this important anniversary in Taree.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The train will be operated by Lachlan Valley Railway, the society that ran the North Coast Steam Tour last year and in 2010.[/font][/size][/color]
[color=#000000][size=1][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Regional Rail Link works are holding up commute times for City Loop passengers this morning, with passengers facing delays of up to 25 minutes.[/font][/size][/color]
News construction of an additional rail line between MelbourneTesting! and Dandenong is still on the government's radar has been welcomed by Latrobe Valley's transport stakeholders.
According to an internal briefing to Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder and Premier Denis Napthine, the construction of an additional track or tracks on the Dandenong Rail Corridor is being considered in a government study currently underway.
The briefing, obtained by The Age through Freedom of Information and supplied to The Express, found development of new container capacity at the Port of Hastings would result in a steep increase in demand on the transport corridor.
HALF of the coal being transported through Brisbane will be sprayed to make it less likely for dust to blow across homes from next week. But critics say the adhesive spray veneer will not be enough and want rail wagons carrying coal covered. About 10 million tonnes of coal a year is transported though more than 30 suburbs to the Port of Brisbane.
One person has been taken to hospital after a train collided with a vehicle at a level crossing near Noble Park Station. It is believed the vehicle became stranded on the Heatherton Road level crossing amid heavy traffic about 6.30pm on Friday.
There were 113 sightings for this week. This is 21 sighting less than last week, making a total of 1979 sightings for this year to date. On day 117 last year we had recorded 1958 sightings. This is 21 sightings up on the same time last year.
As eager commuters headed to Melbourne's newest train station on Sunday, they arrived to find the myki system out of order. It meant that for more than an hour, passengers at the $110 million Williams Landing station couldn't buy or top up myki cards at the counter or from the lone myki machine.
COMMUTERS will experience lengthy delays and some cancelled services this morning due to Regional Rail Link works running late. Affected lines to run on a modified timetable are Werribee, Frankston, Williamstown, Craigieburn and Sunbury, theHerald Sun reports. Some express trains are expected to stop all stations, selected loop trains will run direct to Flinders St and there will be a number of cancellations. A Metro Trains spokesman said issues with upgrading signalling systems were to blame.
A $680 million plan to create a new CBD park and public event space next to Federation Square may be doomed because of a lack of government funding and a decision to open up the site to private developers. The company behind the Federation Square design, LAB architecture studio, has produced a detailed master plan for the Jolimont rail yards site known as Federation Square East. The plan was commissioned by the Office of Major Projects and included an extensive park and community spaces.
NEWCASTLE residents agree that effective public transport should be the city's top priority. But mention the rail, and the city splits like a Scotch Finger biscuit. A Newcastle City Council survey, used to update the council's 2030 strategic plan, asked residents to rank the importance of various strategic objectives. "Effective and integrated public transport" was rated as either "extremely important" or "very important" by 94 per cent of people. Most [66 per cent] said it was extremely important.
CRANBOURNE South resident Lorraine Wilson is right in the firing line when it comes to a proposed rail freight link from the Port of Hastings to Dandenong South. "If they put a rail link there, I'll have to look both ways before I step out," said Ms Wilson, whose house is just 25 metres from the Western Port Highway, the preferred route.
Melbourne's rail commuters face more disruption on the journey home on Monday, with evening peak trains to be hit by delays in completing major signalling work. The delays could also stretch into the Tuesday morning peak. The works, part of the Regional Rail Link project, were meant to have been completed overnight on Sunday, in time for the Monday morning peak but are taking longer than the four-day schedule.
A RAIL line linking Mildura with Darwin and Perth would significantly boost Victoria's export power. Transport Minister Terry Mulder said a proposed line connecting Mildura to Menindee, in western NSW, would fuel economic growth in regional Victoria. Menindee links to the transcontinental Sydney-Perth line, providing a more direct overland export route from Melbourne.
Train commuters face yet another day of delays and cancellations as rail works continue to play havoc across the network. The works, part of the Regional Rail Link project, were meant to have been completed in time for the Monday morning peak but have taken longer than the four-day schedule, resulting in overcrowded trains and substitute bus services. Metro said the work was completed at 4am and the operator had been given full access to rail lines, however cancellations, changes to morning peak services and ''possibly minor delays'' were still in store for commuters. Five lines – Werribee, Frankston, Craigieburn, Sunbury and Pakenham – will be affected, with disruptions expected to be limited to the morning peak.
THE state government has a new and unlikely backer of its plans to truncate heavy rail services at Wickham – the Catholic Church. The Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese has urged the government to push ahead with the planned rail and city revitalisation changes, saying the "vocal minority" has held Newcastle back.
CONSTRUCTION on three Melbourne rail crossings will soon begin along a 15-kilometre stretch of track where four deaths have occurred since 2000. Rail underpasses will be built at three crossings in Springvale and Mitcham, in the city's outer southeast, Premier Denis Napthine announced on Tuesday.
V/Line train and bus services between Melbourne and Gippsland are still being disrupted by repair work in Melbourne. All peak-hour trains were replaced by buses this morning but services are now a mixture of buses and trains. The latest service from Traralgon was a train to Warragul and a bus to Southern Cross Station.